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Cyprus Negotiations Subdue EU's Turkey Membership Evaluation

The ongoing reunification negotations between the leaders of Cyprus' largest communities are expected to subdue the EU's criticism of Turkey's failure to extend a customs accord to Cyprus.

According to an article by AFP published by EU Business, "the European Commission is likely to complain about the state of human rights and press freedoms...but will probably steer clear of any broad critcism of Turkey's failure to extend a cutsoms accord to member Cyprus."

 "In the beginning, the end of 2009 was a deadline for Turkey...but at the moment it is no longer really one due to the negotiations in Cyprus," said an EU official quoted by AFP.

The European Commission manages enlargement issues on behalf of the 27 EU nations.

Countries hoping to join Europe's rich club must complete 35 policy negotiating areas, or chapters.

Ankara has formally opened 11 chapters. But eight others have been frozen since 2006 over the customs dispute. France is blocking another five chapters.

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